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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
NEW TRENDS FOR ACTIVEWEAR Merino wool’s natural benefits teamed with technical innovations are driving the demand for the fibre in the activewear market, as seen at recent sports and outdoor trade shows attended by AWI. Australian wool has shown its versatility to thousands of textile manufacturers, brands, designers and retailers at key global sports and outdoor trade events in the northern hemisphere. At the world’s largest activewear trade show, ISPO in Munich, attended by more than 85,000 visitors, and Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, wool enjoyed increased attention from those looking for the latest fabrics that use a performance fibre produced in a natural environment from a renewable source. Merino wool has positioned itself as a versatile, multifunctional and technical fibre in this sector thanks to its unique natural features and benefits, such as breathability, temperature control, moisture management, elasticity and resistance to odour. AWI advisor for Sports/Outdoor Lars Ulvesund said at both ISPO and Outdoor Retailer there was not only increased interest in Merino wool as a technical fibre but also in the latest innovations on offer. “This encompasses fabric and garment constructions that really stand out from the crowd, be it visually or through technical properties,” says Mr Ulvesund. “Examples of this include circular knit fabrics with pronounced structures and seamless garments in new yarns. It’s also interesting to see that lightweight flat knits are entering the market and competing in the next-to-skin market even though it is still early days. “Most significant however was the presence of spinners at the trade shows and how they are getting more and more attention. Yarns are more important than ever before in the process of new knit innovations.” AWI exhibited its new edition of The Wool Lab Sport at the trade shows. The Wool Lab Sport, part of the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of The Wool Lab, showcases the latest innovative, commercially available Merino wool fabrics and yarns for a mix of both performance and athleisure apparel. AWI has been attending ISPO and Outdoor Retailer since 2006 and 2007 respectively, demonstrating and showcasing the features and versatility of Australian wool as part its strategy to influence demand for the fibre. In the past decade, wool’s penetration in the outdoor and sports apparel market has remarkable and continues to grow. ISPO in Munich was attended by more than 85,000 visitors this year. WOOL IN A packed AWI stand at the ISPO sports and outdoor trade show in Germany. 8 OFF FARM
In the Shops - March 2017